Retiring earlier and living longer: why every woman needs the right financial strategy to make sure their
savings will last their distance
Women in Australia can look forward to long and healthy lives, with the average female life expectancy now higher than 84. What’s
more, women tend to leave the workforce earlier than men, at an average age of 52 which means many women end up spending more than 30 years
in retirement. While this is great news for women, it also highlights the need for careful financial planning – or else you could risk
outliving your finances. So whether you’re just starting out or winding down your career, there are plenty of ways to get ahead now to make
sure your nest egg will be able to see you through.
Boosting your super
Your super is probably the most valuable asset you have when it comes to funding a comfortable retirement. Remember, the more you put into
it, the less you’ll have to rely on the Age Pension when you retire. But did you know that women’s salaries, on average, are still 16.2%
lower than men’s? This means that women’s compulsory super contributions from their employer are lower as well. That’s where salary
sacrificing can make a big difference. By putting a portion of your pre-tax income directly into your super, your nest egg will be able to
grow faster. For example, imagine a woman entering the workforce at age 20 with an annual salary of $50,000. If she salary sacrifices just
$20 a week throughout her working life, she could end up with around $44,000 extra in super by the time she retires at age 67.
Making time for family
If you’re thinking of taking time out of the workforce to raise kids, you’ve probably considered the short-term impact this will have on
your household budget. But have you also worked out what it could mean for your retirement savings? You won’t be receiving employer super
contributions while you’re not working, which can really set you back by the time you’re ready to retire. That’s why it’s important to
plan your career breaks carefully. You could consider putting a little bit extra into super to make up for what you’ll lose in employer
contributions. You can make a personal contribution at any time (while under age 65) – either before your career break or when you’re
back at work. But as with most investments, the earlier you put money in, the longer it will have to grow.
Going it alone
Since women live longer than men, if you’re in a relationship it’s worth considering the possibility that you may outlive your partner. In
fact, at least one in three Australian women over 65 is widowed. So even though it may be unpleasant to think about, it’s important to
know how you’d manage your finances on your own. Here’s something else to keep in mind: every year in Australia, over 45,000
marriages end. And while divorce is difficult for both parties, women tend to be financially impacted the most. So if you’re a full-time
homemaker who depends on your husband or partner’s income, then you need to have a back-up plan so you can keep building your retirement
savings if your relationship ends.
Planning your retirement income
Once you retire, your lifestyle needs will probably change over time. In your early years of retirement, for instance, you might want to
focus your time and money on more family time, travel and other leisure activities. Then, as you get older, you’ll probably have to spend
more on health care. It’s also worth understanding the different ways you can access your super when you retire. You might
choose to cash it out as a lump sum, so you can immediately pay off any outstanding debts. Otherwise, you might prefer to take it as a
regular income stream by setting up an account-based pension or buying an annuity. As the first step, ask your financial adviser about your
options, so you can decide which one is best for you.
Your adviser can help
Every woman’s situation is unique, and their financial strategy should be too. Your adviser can give you the right guidance at each life
stage so you can make the most of your money and look forward to the future with confidence.
Speak to us for more information
If you have any questions, please call SMART Financial Planning for Life on 03 5911 7000.
This document has been prepared by Count Financial Limited ABN 19 001 974 625, AFSL 227232, (Count) a wholly-owned,
non-guaranteed subsidiary of Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124. ‘Count’ and Count Wealth Accountants® are
trading names of Count. Count advisers are authorised representatives of Count. Count is a Professional Partner of the
Financial Planning Association of Australia Limited. Information in this document is based on current regulatory requirements and
laws, as at 26 June 2017, which may be subject to change. While care has been taken in the preparation of this document, no
liability is accepted by Count, its related entities, agents and employees for any loss arising from reliance on this
document. This document contains general advice. It does not take account of your individual objectives, financial situation or
needs. You should consider talking to a financial adviser before making a financial decision. Taxation considerations are
general and based on present taxation laws, rulings and their interpretation and may be subject to change. You should seek
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